A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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December 2006, vol 2 no 4

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Roger Jones

Leaving Paradise

We're moving to Oklahoma after years on the West Coast. Fifteen, I can't fathom my father's motives for the transfer. I'm having a hard time forgiving him for ripping me loose from friends, cousins, a good life. As he drives, I sleep away most of the valley until we cross the Tehachapis and stop for a fill-up and a snack in Daggett, California (pop. 200). Grieving alone, I chew dry pineapple streudel and look out at the vast red sunset.

Shaking the earth—
big semis on the freeway
at the edge of the desert